Adaptation of Finnish cross-country skiers to climate change
AbstractCross-country skiing has a long history in Finland, and it is a part of the national identity of Finns. This study on cross-country skiers’ adaptation to changing climate describes groups of cross-country skiers with reference to their motives for
skiing, and their perceptions and preferences on climate change adaptation tools. The data was collected by means of a web questionnaire contacting skiers in ski areas, mainly in southern Finland, and on the websites of ski associations.
On the basis of a cluster analysis, we found three groups of skier types, each of which has different perceptions of means for adapting their skiing behaviour to the decreasing skiing opportunities close to home. One group of skiers, the ‘social
type’ group, placed emphasis on skiing traditions and social reasons. This group is the most liable to give up skiing if the skiing conditions close to home are poor. The ‘outdoor type’ group, whose skiing motives were related to skiing environment qualities (nature, landscape, winter) and the ‘technical type’ group motivated by fitness objectives, were interested in behavioural adaptation, for example, travelling further away and using artificial snow tracks. With a better understanding of skiers’ behaviour, it is possible to identify adaptation strategies
that can help providers of skiing services, such as municipal agencies and the ski tourism industry, as well as skiers themselves, to prepare for climate change.